How to Wash Greasy Mechanic Uniforms

 In Materials

When your profession is centred on repairing cars, dealing with thick, sticky oil and grease is part of your job description. Such dirt and grime can be difficult to remove, which often forces many mechanics to throw the dirty clothes out. We’re here to prevent you from doing that unless you plan to upgrade. The truth is you can remove motor oil and grease stains from your workwear on your own. This blog helps you keep your mechanic uniform clean so you always look professional.


Why are Grease Stains Hard to Remove?

Unlike typical stains, grease has a unique way of interacting with fabric.

First, it is an oil-based substance, which means it repels water. If you use your everyday laundry detergent, you will notice that it does not help remove the stain. That’s because that detergent is water-based in nature.

That doesn’t mean you cannot use dish detergent. We’ll share tips below on how you can use this household item when dealing with grease.

Another reason is that your mechanic uniform may be absorbent. Stains from grease can go deep into fibres, even if absorbed quickly. Plus, the oil can set faster since your work exposes you to high temperatures. This combination makes it difficult to remove.

As pointed out earlier, grease is sticky. The longer the stain stays on synthetic mechanic work shirts, the harder it is to remove.


How to Wash Greasy Mechanics Clothes

A word to the wise: grease stains do not break down when washed with water alone.

Completely removing the fluid from your mechanic clothing requires a little extra effort.

Also, it is a good idea to remove grease as quickly as possible.

So, how do you go about the task? Here is a list of the things you need:

  • Dish detergent or any typical household cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Baby powder
  • Cornstarch

If you have a mechanics soap ready, you can use it, as well. Don’t forget to add time and effort to the list of the items listed above. When you have the things you need, you can try the following methods on how to wash greasy mechanic clothes:


Using a Dish Detergent

  1. Lay the mechanic uniform flat with cardboard or a towel directly under the stain.
  2. Get the detergent and carefully rub it with a soft cloth to help saturate the spot.
  3. Leave the clothing for about five minutes before washing and drying.
  4. Follow the label directions to prevent damage.


Using Baking Soda

If you haven’t used baking soda for removing stains, you will be glad to discover the power of this common household item. It works wonders on spots and blemishes as long as they have not yet set. However, if you already run the clothing through the washer, you may want to use another method. Baking soda is excellent for drawing out the grease away from your cotton shirt.

To remove the oil, you will have to:

  1. Lay the clothing flat with an old towel or cardboard underneath.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for 10 minutes until you see the colour change, which tells you it’s soaking up the stain.
  3. You will need a blunt and rigid scraping tool to scrape off the baking soda before washing it with hot water. This method may require repetition until you see that the baking soda no longer changes colour, denoting there is no more stain to absorb.
  4. Finally, dry the clothing according to the label instructions.

Sometimes, the grease does not budge. If that’s the case, mix baking soda with dish detergent and scrub with a soft toothbrush. Wash with hot water after 10 minutes.


Using Baby Powder

The steps are similar to the above.

  1. Sprinkle some baby powder on the grease and
  2. Wait about 10 minutes before brushing it off with a toothbrush.

If the stain is still visible, wash the uniform with cold water.


Using Cornstarch

One more fine powder you can try is cornstarch, which is mighty for grease stains. It’s ideal for stubborn blotches on your mechanic overalls.

  1. Pour a tiny amount of cornstarch and leave it on the spot for 15 minutes to an hour.
  2. Use a damp sponge or toothbrush to remove the product. It will not harm the clothing, though, if you decide to leave it on before washing it in cold water.



Washing greasy mechanic overalls and shirts can be challenging. It’s not the same as regular laundry because of the heavy oil stains, dirt, and dust. Hopefully, the tips above will make your job easier. If the mechanic clothing is no longer salvageable, we’ve got you covered. Head to our store and order quality mechanic uniforms from us today!

Looking for assistance or guidance with your workwear needs? We're here to help! Get in touch with our expert team using the form provided below.

    Farmer wearing his farm workwear in the fieldsTwo boots, one clean and one dirty, side by side on a table with a cloth, scrub, and wax.